Monday, June 30, 2008

The Government Assures Anwar of Safety -

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak denied any involvement in the sodomy allegation against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He was speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby Monday.

Anwar leaves Turkish Embassy - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim left the Turkish Embassy at about 6.45pm on Monday, accompanied by his wife PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The couple left in a black MPV and were headed for their home in Bukit Segambut, his lawyer Sankara Nair said.

Anwar had been holed up in the Turkish Embassy since 6am Sunday, seeking shelter because he said he had received death threats after his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhary Azlan had lodged a police report alleging that Anwar had sexually assaulted and sodomised him.

He denied the sodomy allegations, and has filed a suit against Mohd Saiful for allegedly lodging a false and malicious police report.

Anwar is expected to address his supporters at 9pm tonight at the PKR headquarers in Merchant Square, Tropicana in Petaling Jaya.

[More at]

Anwar files libel suit against aide - Malaysiakini

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PKR's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim this morning filed a defamation suit against his aide over claims of sodomy.

In the suit which was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry in Jalan Duta, Anwar also claimed that the police report lodged by Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan was an abuse of the process of law.

On Saturday the 23-year-old Saiful had lodged a police report claiming that Anwar had sodomised him at a luxury condominium in Damansara.

The suit was today filed on Anwar's behalf by his lawyers. Anwar is presently seeking refuge at the Turkish embassy after claiming that his life was in danger.

His lawyers, led by Ranjit Singh, said the suit was aimed at clearing his name in court following the scandal which could derail his political aspirations of becoming prime minister.

PKR vice-president and lawyer S Sivarasa who also appeared on behalf of Anwar told reporters that they have asked for the heaing to be held soon.

[More at]

Azmin: Accuser was a 'plant' - NST

SHAH ALAM: Threats against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have forced him to seek refuge at a safe location, his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.

Wan Azizah, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat president, described the sodomy allegation against Anwar as the second political conspiracy and attempt on her husband's life.

"You must take into account that when he was detained last time, he was beaten up.

"We have to take this into consideration. This is the second political conspiracy in the country," she said.

The police have not indicated that an arrest is imminent. However, a statement from Anwar in connection with the sodomy allegation is being sought.

At the same press conference, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali alleged that Anwar's accuser was a "plant" by "certain personalities to make this vicious attack against Anwar".

He said the complainant joined the party during the election campaign period.

[More at]

Man behind Anwar sodomy report seen posing with Cabinet ministers - The Star

SHAH ALAM: PKR has released four sets of pictures showing the man who made a police report alleging sodomy by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The pictures were taken at the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the accuser was posing with three Cabinet ministers.

One of the pictures showed Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, posing with Khairil Anas Yusof, an aide at the Deputy Prime Minister's office.

“I have a picture actually showing the link to the Deputy Prime Minister,” PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told a packed press conference after the PKR supreme council meeting.

“The young man who lodged the police report (against Anwar) was in the Deputy Prime Minister's office. I think that is explanatory.

“Next to the young man is the Deputy Prime Minister's special officer Khairil Anas Yusof,” she said.

[More at]

The Sun Front Page (30/6)

Read this document on Scribd: The Sun Malaysia Cover (30 June 2008)

The nation’s FREE newspaper 30 sen for delivery to your doorstep MEMBER AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATIONS (MALAYSIA) 275,000 COPIES DAILY Award winning newspaper for public service reporting and opinion writing. No. 4544 PP 2644/12/2008 (020369) Monday TELLING IT AS IT IS June 30, 2008 » PM on MCA president’s move pg2 » New equation in Carey’s life pg21 entertainment Abdullah leaves it to police to probe PUTRAJAYA: Expressing shock over fresh allegations of sodomy against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Barisan Nasional did not have anything to do with it. “Neither Umno nor Barisan Nasional (BN) have any intention to create difficulties for him (Anwar) since he has claimed he made a political comeback in April,” said Abdullah, adding that it was up to police to investigate and conclude if the claim was true or not. He said he did not have any knowledge about the matter and only heard about it from an SMS received on Saturday. “The person involved has made a report. What else is there for us to do? He has a right to lodge a report. We can’t stop him from doing so. Leave it to the police. We don’t meddle. We don’t do that,” he said yesterday morning after launching the Green Earth programme. Asked to comment on Anwar’s claim that it was a repeat of methods used against him in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress, and he was sacked as deputy prime minister, Abdullah said it was not something which the government could ascertain. “Of course he would make a denial. That’s normal. A person who is alleged will make a denial. But if there is proof, it is up to the police to investigate. “Umno has never thought of disturbing him like this. BN also has never thought of making his life difficult or making up something like this or doing anything bad towards him. We don’t have such intention. It never crossed my mind to frame him. I believe my other colleagues, Datuk Seri Najib (Abdul Razak) or anyone, has never thought about that,” he said. Asked if Anwar will be arrested, Abdullah said: “All that I know is, a report has been made and the police will decide what they want to do and how they are going to investigate.” Anwar fears for his life by Charles Ramendran, Tim Leonard and Husna Yusop SHAH ALAM: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has taken refuge in the Turkish embassy in the wake of what his wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail described as a “second political conspiracy” to finish him off. The Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader failed to show at a scheduled press conference at the Quality Hotel here yesterday, following a police report lodged against him on Saturday evening by an aide who accused him of sodomy. The 23-year-old man lodged a police report at the Brickfields police station, alleging that Anwar had sodomised him on Thursday at a condominium in Damansara. It is learnt that in his police report, the man also alleged that Anwar had sodomised him on several occasions over the past three weeks, both locally and overseas. In a press statement issued from the Turkish embassy yesterday evening, Anwar who said he was transported there yesterday morning fearing that his personal safety was in danger, thanked the ambassador for extending an invitation to seek refuge within the embassy. “Since the March 8 elections, » Prime Minister Abdullah: “Umno has never thought of disturbing him like this. BN also has never thought of making his life difficult or making up something like this or doing anything bad towards him. We don’t have such intention. It never crossed my mind to frame him.” » Wan Azizah: “This is the second political conspiracy … and an attempted murder. There is a serious threat on his life. They did it in 1998 and they are doing it again now.” » Anwar Ibrahim: “I have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as means to subvert the people’s will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia.” numerous credible sources from within the government and military intelligence have advised me that certain agents from within the Barisan Nasional leadership have initiated plots to cause harm to me or my family or supporters,” he claimed. “I have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as a means to subvert the people’s will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia,” he said. The former deputy prime minister also said he would make public new evidence implicating the Inspector of Police and Attorney-General regarding cases brought against him in 1998 when he was charged with corruption and sodomy. Wan Azizah who held a press conference accompanied by her daughter Pantai MP Nurul Izzah, and senior PKR leaders, accused the government of a “second political conspiracy” to finish off her husband. She showed journalists a picture message from her BlackBerry, saying “the picture will allow the public to know who is behind the accusations, and why they are doing it now”. The picture showed Anwar’s accuser, a former student leader at Uniten, posing with an official in Putrajaya.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

PKR fears Anwar an assassination target -

PKR today said party de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has received threats to his life and is currently holed up at the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

According to PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali, the latest move to implicate Anwar in a sodomy charge lodged by an aide signaled a more serious effort by certain quarters to silence him for good.

Wan Azizah Denies Sodomy Claim Against Anwar - Bernama

SHAH ALAM, June 29 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim failed to turn up at a press conference to answer a sodomy allegation here Sunday but instead his wife Datin Seri Wan Azizah showed up to defend him, citing that it was a political conspiracy.

Wan Azizah, who is also PKR president, denied that her husband had sodomised his personal assistant.

"I would like to say that it is a second political conspiracy against my husband," Wan Azizah said.

She was accompanied by her daughter, Nurul Izzah, who is also the MP for Lembah Pantai, PKR deputy president Datuk Syed Husin Ali and PKR vice-president Azmin Ali.

The 23-year-old personal assistant lodged a report at the Jalan Travers police station in Kuala Lumpur Saturday alleging that he was sodomised by Anwar at a house in Damansara Heights on Thursday. Wan Azizah said police had not taken any statement from Anwar in connection with the allegation.

She said Anwar had received death threats and he was now being holed-up in a safe place.

Asked to elaborate on the threats, she said, "Friends told us to take care of him and that his life was in danger."

Meanwhile, Azmin said Anwar could not turn up for the press conference as his safety was at stake following the death threats recently.

[More at]

Malaysia's Anwar seeks refuge after sodomy claim - Reuters

By Jalil Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim took refuge at the Turkish embassy on Sunday due to fears he could be assassinated after fresh accusations of sodomy.

The developments come at a time of heightened political tension in Malaysia after the government's worst ever election result earlier this year put pressure on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to quit.

Anwar, who was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and later jailed for sodomy and corruption, has seen a revival of his fortunes since the opposition alliance's strong showing in the March election. Anwar has said the old charges were trumped up, and said the new accusations were politically motivated.

"I was transported to the embassy earlier this morning fearing that my personal safety was in danger," Anwar said in a statement.

"I have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as a means to subvert the people's will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia," he said.

Anwar says he has won enough support from ruling coalition lawmakers to form a new government by September, which has sparked fears of policy shifts and unsettled investors.

[More at]

Allies, opponents react to Anwar sodomy allegation - The Star

KOTA BARU: The Opposition may be affected by the allegation of sexual misconduct against PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, says PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

However, he said, at this stage it was just a person's word against Anwar and the police should conduct a through investigation.

He said the allegations could be related to a political conspiracy to trap Anwar.

"Such accusation requires witnesses in Islam. It could be true or it could be a conspiracy.

"It is difficult to prove one person’s word against another. That is why, witnesses are required,” he told reporters at Sultan Ismail Petra airport before flying to Perak for a visit.

Kelantan Umno information chief Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad said:

"We can only speculate until the police conclude its investigations and the court process takes over.

"Nobody from Umno has anything to gain from trying to fabricate (accusations against) Anwar especially in the current political landscape,” he said.

[More at]

PM: No open forums on 'Malay supremacy' - The Star

By V.P. Sujata

PUTRAJAYA: Open forums discussing the purported social contract and "ketuanan Melayu" (Malay Supremacy) will have negative repercussions and should not be held, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said Malays would not like such things to be discussed, adding that no one loses if the two sensitive issues were not debated.

"I feel there is no need to discuss these issues because it gives rise to various reactions from the Malays, including creating animosity and racial tension.

"I do not understand where the loss is if these issues are not discussed. No need to discuss," he told reporters after launching the Bumi Hijau Campaign here on Sunday.

Abdullah was commenting on an open forum to discuss the social contract and Malay supremacy organised by the Malaysian Bar Council on Saturday.

Abdullah said the social contract that had been implemented and followed since Independence 50 years ago was well understood.

[More at]

Sodomy claim by aide is fabrication, says Anwar - NST

By : Alang Bendahara, Jennifer Gomez and Kristina George

SHAH ALAM: A police report has been lodged yesterday against Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for alleged sodomy.

The report was lodged by Anwar's 23-year-old assistant who alleged that Anwar had sodomised him at a house in Bukit Damansara on Thursday.

The report was lodged at the Travers police station in Brickfields at 5.45pm.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman confirmed the report and said police were investigating.

Meanwhile, Anwar in a statement early today said the report against him was "a complete fabrication". The statement was read out by PKR vice-president and Subang MP R. Sivarasa.

Anwar also said it was an attempt by the BN regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice.

Anwar and other PKR members were earlier at Quality Hotel here attending a scheduled PKR supreme council meeting last night. He received an SMS at 9.30pm and left the meeting immediately afterwards.

[More at]

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Aide alleges sodomy: Report lodged - Malaysiakini

A police report has been lodged against PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly sodomosing one of his aides - the second time that such an accusation had been made in over 10 years.

The report was lodged by the 23-year-old victim at the Jalan Travers police station at 6pm.

KL police chief DCP Muhammad Sabtu Osman has confirmed that the report had been made.

It is learnt that Anwar met with a number of party leaders at an emergency meeting late tonight.

At 11.15pm, PKR sent out an SMS message stating that the police had detained Anwar's special aide Saiful Bahari this afternoon and forced him to lodge a police report about being sodomised by his boss.

It added that the police are expected to arrest Anwar soon.

Meanwhile, Anwar is expected to comment on this latest crisis at a pre-arranged press conference tomorrow.

The press conference is scheduled to be held after a meeting between Anwar and all PKR members of parliament and state assemblypersons.

[More at]

Anwar's brother quits job after Ezam barb - The Star

By Wani Muthiah

SHAH ALAM: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s younger brother Rusli has resigned as special advisor to Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd president Datuk Abdul Karim Munisar.

Rusli said he resigned on June 25 due to “baseless allegations” made by former PKR stalwart Ezam Mohd Nor which was reported in a Malay daily recently.

According to the news report, Ezam allaged that Rusli, 59, was appointed as KDEB adviser because of his blood ties with Anwar.

The daily also reported Ezam as saying:

“Anwar had always said there shouldn’t be any nepotism in politics but now he himself has practiced it by appointing his brother to the position.”

Ezam had also demanded an explanation on the appointment from KDEB, the Selangor government’s special-purpose agency to undertake investments.

[More at]

Friday, June 27, 2008

Upset Penang CM resolves to find ways to solve traffic woes - The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will look for ways to solve traffic congestion problems on the island on its own now that the monorail and Penang Outer Ring Road projects have been deferred.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government could not afford to implement such mega projects as they involved high capital and would look for other sources.

“Without help from the Federal Government, the state will have to look for its own solutions,” said Lim, who was visibly upset upon learning that the two federal projects had been taken off the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Lim added that the state government was willing to facilitate the acquisition of state land for the monorail project as it would smoothen traffic flow on the island.

Reactions from Penang Barisan Nasional leaders was mixed.

State Opposition leader and state Umno secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim described the move to defer both projects as a “wise and right decision”.

[More at]

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SAPP given 30 days - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional supreme council has decided to issue a show-cause letter to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for calling for a vote of no-confidence against its leader Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that SAPP has 30 days to reply to the show-cause letter, after which a final decision will be made on the errant party depending on developments and the party's reply.

"After 30 days, the Barisan supreme council will meet again and decide whether to issue it a warning, suspend it or to sack the party," he said after a Barisan supreme council meeting on Thursday night.

Najib said the 30-day period was to give SAPP a chance to defend itself. He said this was natural justice and procedurally correct.

He said the 13 other Barisan component parties which met were united in their views that what SAPP had done was serious and that it had affected the integrity and discipline of the coalition.

"It is clear that this action can bring damage to Barisan's interests," he added.

[More at]

Umno MT Accepts Ezam's Membership - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Bernama) -- The Umno Supreme Council (MT) Thursday endorsed the application by the former Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) Youth head, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, to rejoin Umno.

The decision was made at the Umno MT meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Umno headquarters at Menara Dato' Onn, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here that lasted more than four hours.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, when announcing the decision to the press after the meeting, said with the decision, Mohamad Ezam was now officially an Umno member.

He said, however, Mohamad Ezam was not allowed to contest for any post in the party elections in December.

Tengku Adnan said the Umno MT also accepted the application by former head of the Permatang Pauh Keadilan division, Anuar Shaari and former Keadilan vice-president Datin Saidatul Badru Tun Said Keruak.

Anuar was formerly the private secretary to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from 1996 until 1998 while Saidatul Badru was a former vice-president of the party from 2005 until 2006 and head of the Kota Belud Keadilan division.

[More at]

Khairy denies having military report on Altantuya murder - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin has denied that he is in possession of a military intelligence report on the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaaribuu.

He said the allegation against him in Raja Petra Kamarudin’s statutory declaration of June 18 was “malicious” because it suggested that he (Khairy) was concealing knowledge of a crime.

He said he had given his statement to the police on the matter on Tuesday night.

“I told the police that I have never received any military intelligence report on the murder of Altantuya from the Prime Minister or from any other quarters. Nor have I received any other report from anyone about the murder.

“I don’t have, I’ve not kept any such report and I don’t know anything about the murder.

“I told the police that the statutory declaration including the allegations against me was made with bad intention because it was totally false,” he told reporters yesterday at the Parliament lobby.

[More at]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Najib: It's total garbage -

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today denied that his wife, Rosmah Mansor, was involved in the killing of Altantuya Shaariibuu as claimed by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Penang's Porr and monorail projects shelved - Malaysiakini

In a stunning move which is likely to anger Penang, the government has put off two major projects in the state - the RM2 billion monorail and RM1.5 billion Penang Outer Ring Road (Porr).

According to evening edition of Chinese dailies, the government has slashed the two mega-projects as part of a major review to the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

However, the government denied that the move was aimed to punish Penangnites who have voted the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition into power in the state.

It stressed that the shelving of the projects was part of the government's "relocation" of resources to cushion the impact of the unprecedented hike in global oil prices.

The controversial Porr is a 17-kilometre expressway that stretches from Tanjung Tokong to Gelugor in the island, while the monorail was proposed two years ago to help overcome worsening traffic jams in Penang's congested roads.

The postponing of the two projects came despite that the government has promised to invest more on public transportation in the wake of 40 percent hike in petrol prices.

[More at]

Najib, Khairy deny Raja Petra claims - The Star

By Shahanaaz Habib

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has dismissed Raja Petra Kamarudin’s statutory declaration implicating his wife as having had a hand in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaaribuu as “total lies, fabrication and total garbage.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said the allegations in the statutory declaration were a “desperate and pathetic attempt to discredit and taint my political image.”

He said his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, had already given her statement to the police.

The Prime Minister too would be making his recorded statement to the police.

“I welcome the police investigation and hope they would be concluded soon,” he told reporters on Wednesday after chairing a Cabinet committee meeting on illegal immigrants.

Raja Petra, editor of online news portal and aggregator Malaysia Today, filed his explosive statutory declaration on June 18 with the KL High Court, claiming to have been "reliably informed" that three other persons were present during the murder of Altantuya on Oct 19, 2006.

[More at]

Altantuya murder: PM: Raja Petra's action unacceptable - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister said yesterday he did not believe Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were in any way involved in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also categorically dismissed the claim by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin in a sworn statement that he had received a military intelligence report linking Rosmah to the crime.

"He said in his statutory declaration that I had been handed a report about the murder by the military intelligence. That is not correct.

"I did not receive anything. Nothing was sent to me."

Abdullah said he was concerned about Raja Petra's allegations and had been informed by the attorney-general that an investigation would be carried out based on the statutory declaration.

"What he did is unacceptable. What he said is wrong," Abdullah said after chairing a meeting of the cabinet committee on palm oil at Parliament House.

In the Dewan Rakyat, Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) filed an emergency motion to discuss the statutory declaration.

It was rejected yesterday on the grounds that the matter was sub judice.

[More at]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reporters Barred From Parliament Lobby, Boycotted Press Conferences - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- For the first time in Parliament's history, reporters were barred from the Parliament lobby Tuesday.

To counter the move, members of the media showed their solidarity by boycotting all press conferences held at Parliament, include those by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

The media personnel took such a bold step to express their unhappiness at the "unfriendly ruling" by Parliament's management.

As a result, two press conferences by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and one by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were only covered by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Radio Televisyen Malaysia, TV3, Berita Harian and foreign wires personnel.

The media representatives, who were covering the second day meeting of the second meeting of the first session of the 12th Parliament, were informed that they would only be allowed to be at one corner of the lobby which has been designated for news conferences.

No statement was issued by Parliament's administration on this new ruling earlier, nor was the any verbal instructions. Only barriers were put up with signages stating that reporters were not allowed to be in the areas.

The only statement received by the media from the Parliament administration was on Friday to inform of a new ruling limiting only five reporters from each media organisations to cover Parliament proceedings due to security reasons.

Several member of Parliaments, from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and also opposition, who symphatised with the media tried to get Parliament to withdraw the ban but failed.

[More at]

Najib: SAPP's fate in hands of Barisan supreme council - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional supreme council will determine the action to be taken against rebel party Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Tuesday.

The deputy prime minister said that the Barisan Nasional's management committee, which met yesterday, had come up with several recommendations for the council on the action to be taken against the SAPP.

Najib declined to say what the recommendations were.

“I cannot announce them. They are specific recommendations. We will submit them to the supreme council soon,” he told reporters after chairing the committee meeting at Parliament House. Representatives of all Barisan component parties, except SAPP, which was not invited, attended the meeting.

Najib, who is Barisan deputy chairman, said the committee also decided that the Government should give serious attention and priority to problems involving the people’s interests, including in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Any issue involving the people’s interests in Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia should be given serious attention so that the people have confidence in Barisan,” he said.

[More at]

Two Sabah MPs recalled home after 'threats' - The Star

By Muguntan Vanar

KOTA KINABALU: The two MPs of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) have been recalled home to Sabah for security reasons, said party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

He claimed that the two MPs – Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) – had been threatened by certain quarters over SAPP’s decision to support a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister.

The two MPs, who were in Kuala Lumpur to attend the Parliament meeting which began yesterday, were told to return immediately.

“In view of this disturbing turn of events, SAPP has taken extra precautions for the safety of the MPs by calling them back to the party headquarters for consultations on the next course of action, including the safety of their persons, families and the security of their offices,” Yong said.

He said that ever since SAPP announced the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister on June 18, the SAPP had been advised by “friendly parties not to underestimate the risky consequences and likely threats to SAPP and its leaders.”

“Events in the last 24 hours have taken a disturbing turn. Among others, we have received reports of intimidation and bullying (against us),” he said.

[More at]

Monday, June 23, 2008

Attempt By Opposition To Reject BN Motion Fails - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- The opposition's attempt to reject the motion on the increase in the prices of petroleum and other goods tabled by the government in the Dewan Rakyat met with failure when the block voting showed that 129 members voted for the government compared to 78 who voted against it.

It was the second time that the opposition pact had opted for block voting after the first one to pass the motion on the Supply Bill 2008 (2007), which also favoured the government 92-60 on May 28.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia accepted the protest made by Mohamed Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) under article 46 (4) of the Standing Order when 15 or more members stood up to protest on the decision of the House previously which voted according to a voice vote.

The sitting earlier which was chaired by Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee had decided that the motion was passed based on a majority voice but this was opposed by M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat).

The motion was tabled by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad.

Ministers who were absent were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim (BN-Jelebu), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (BN-Bagan Datoh) and Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique (BN-Setiawangsa).

[More at]

Barisan MPs on alert to fight possible no-confidence motion - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: All eyes will be on the new meeting of the Dewan Rakyat which starts today as many are waiting to see if a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister materialises.

Although the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s office has said that no specific no-confidence motion has been filed, any motion or Bill which comes up for voting can be turned into a test of confidence of the Prime Minister and the Government.

The first motion to come up will be that on price increases of oil and other goods as well as the measures to tackle them, which will be tabled by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad immediately after Question Time today.

SAPP, a Barisan Nasional component party, caused a storm last week when the party said it had lost confidence in the leadership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said its two MPs (Tawau's Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui and Sepanggar's Datuk Eric Enjin Machimbun) would introduce or support a vote on no-confidence against the Prime Minister.

Barisan secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said coalition MPs would be on full alert for the possibility of the Opposition trying to sneak in a no-confidence vote during the debate on issues such as the motion on price increases.

[More at]

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cops investigating Raja Petra’s allegations - The Star

By Lourdes Charles

KUALA LUMPUR: The police will be calling up Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin to investigate his allegations in a recent statutory declaration, which touched on purported facts related to the ongoing Altantuya Shaariibuu trial.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the three individuals named in the document filed at the High Court here on June 18 would also be called up.

Raja Petra had claimed that these individuals, one a prominent VIP, were present when Altantuya was killed on Oct 19, 2006.

Copies of the statutory declaration, filed on June 18, have been posted online by bloggers.

In his two-paged statutory declaration, Raja Petra said he had been “reliably informed” of the presence of these individuals at the murder.

Musa said that the matter could be subjudice as the Altantuya murder trial was on going.

[More at]

Umno man defies party, ready to face music - The Star

By Raslan Baharom

TAIPING: An Umno member who stood for and won one of the 30 vacant village head posts that were up for grabs at Sunday's Pakatan Rakyat government-organised election knew that he could be expelled from the party for not towing the line.

“If I’m expelled from the party, I have to accept it because they (Umno leaders) have the power to do so,” said Mokhtar Muda.

The 56-year-old retired soldier won a three-cornered fight for the post of Kampung Boyan village head after polling 541 votes, beating self-employed Shaari Chain, 50, and retired teacher Ali Akbar Ibrahim, 60, from Parti Keadilan Rakyat and PAS respectively.

Shaari obtained 77 votes while Ali Akbar garnered 387 votes.

Mokhtar said he did not contest for the post under the Umno ticket.

“The post which I won today should not be a reflection of which party one is aligned to,” said the father of six.

Some local Umno leaders such as former state assembly speaker Datuk Md Isa Ismail, who is also Bukit Gantang Umno division chairman, had warned Umno members against contesting in the village head election as this amounted to disregarding party directives.


The SAPP Saga: I won't leave party, says Raymond Tan - NST

By : Jaswinder Kaur

KOTA KINABALU: The deputy president of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, said yesterday he would remain with the party even if it was expelled from Barisan Nasional for its decision to go ahead with the motion of no confidence against the prime minister.

His voice cracking with emotion, Tan, who was against the proposed motion, appealed to prime minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to not take action against the party.

He remained firm on his statement that the decision made at Friday's SAPP supreme council meeting to endorse the motion of no confidence was not unanimous.

Tan also criticised the Anti-Corruption Agency for stating that it would investigate SAPP president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee following testimony in a court case that he took profits from the sale of shares belonging to a state-owned company while serving as Sabah chief minister.

Tan, who defended his party and Yong at a 15-minute press conference at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport before leaving for his hometown in Sandakan, said he would remain loyal to SAPP which he joined 14 years ago.

Tan said, although he and Yong might have different views, this was not the time to be away from the party.

[More at]

Saturday, June 21, 2008

ACA Denies Yong's Allegation - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, June 21 (Bernama) -- The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Saturday denied Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's allegation that its move in opening investigation papers on him was a threat.

ACA Director-General Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said the agency had never threatened anyone and its action was never politically motivated or upon instruction by anyone.

"As a law enforcement agency, we conduct investigation without fear or favour," he told reporters before attending a dinner in conjunction with the ACA and Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau annual games here.

On the timing the investigation papers were opened, a day after Yong declaring loss of confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Said said it was by coincidence because Yong's name was mentioned in a corruption trial at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

ACA opened the investigation papers on Yong in connection with graft totalling RM5 million allegedly occurring when he was Sabah Chief Minister.

Two days ago, the Kuala Lumpur High Court was told that Yong had ordered the payment of over RM5 million profit from the sale of shares belonging to a state-owned company to his selected agents in 1996.

[More at]

Yong Denies Being Offered DPM's Post - Bernama

KOTA KINABALU, June 21 (Bernama) -- Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee has described Umno Youth vice chief Khairy Jamaluddin's inkling of him being offered the deputy prime minister's post as absurd.

"I don't dream of becoming Deputy Prime Minister. Perhaps, because I was loud in voicing out issues affecting Sabah he can say anything, talking like an insane man.

"If not because superb victories of Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN)... BN would have fallen in the last election. So, what's wrong with us asking for little attention.

"Khairy is a young man. He has to learn a lot," Yong said during a meet-the-people function at the Likas multipurpose hall near here Saturday.

Khairy said Friday that Yong's criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was believed due to him being taken in by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's offer.

He said he was made to understand that Yong would be appointed to the number two post in government if Anwar who is former deputy prime minister, became Prime Minister.

Yong said he was not greedy pursuing for posts in government.

"I was offered senatorship and become Special Envoy to Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) but I did not accept it because I saw it as a political bribe so that I stop raising Sabah issues.

[More at]

Former judge hits out at Dr M - The Star

By Audrey Edwards

KUALA LUMPUR: A retired Federal Court judge has lashed out at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad alleging that the former premier had wanted to amend Article 121 of the Federal Constitution because he wanted the judiciary to be under his control.

“I believe the Prime Minister at the time wanted to become a dictator; I may be wrong but this is my conclusion,” Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin yesterday told reporters after receiving ex-gratia payment from the Government for the pain and loss he suffered during the 1988 judicial crisis.

Previously, Article 121 stated that judicial power of the Federation was “vested in a Supreme Court and such inferior courts as may be provided by federal law” but it was replaced in 1988 to place the courts’ jurisdiction in the hands of Parliament.

Azmi, 75, who received the payment from de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, said: “He wanted to amend Article 121 which calls for the separation of powers. He already headed the Legislature and Executive. Now, he also wanted the judiciary under him.”

Adding that Dr Mahathir was “very clever” and always “killed two birds with one stone”, Azmi alleged that Dr Mahathir’s agenda was tied to the Umno 11 case involving then Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah whose supporters had challenged his post as Umno president.

“With the judiciary under him, he could tell judges what to do. I am sure he will deny it,” said Azmi who was among six judges involved in the judicial crisis two decades ago.

[More at]

Yong and deputy at odds over no-confidence motion - The Star

By Muguntan Vanar and Ruben Sario

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party is under threat of snapping from a fracture between the party boss Datuk Yong Teck Lee and his deputy Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

This emerged after a highly charged five-hour supreme council meeting yesterday when Yong obtained a consensus on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the party made no decision on pulling out of Barisan Nasional.

Disputing what Yong told a packed press conference at the party headquarters crowded by members, Tan, immediately after the meeting, said the supreme council was split over the motion.

Tan said he and party youth chief Au Kam Wah had opposed the motion and they were supported by some of the 29 members of the supreme council present. (The council has 35 members).

He also disputed Yong’s contention that no decision was made for SAPP to pull out from Barisan.

“The consensus among us is to stay in Barisan,” said Tan, a Deputy Chief Minister who is seen as heading a Sandakan rebellion against Yong in the 14-year-old party which teamed up with Umno and other Barisan components in 1994, leading to the ouster of Parti Bersatu Sabah.

[More at]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Emergence Of Two Multi-party Coalitions Good, Says Koh - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Bernama) -- The emergence of two multi-party coalitions resulting from the March 8 general election is good for the country as it paves the way for good governance.

Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said this Friday night when addressing some 200 people at the party's "White Coffee Talk" at its Selangor headquarters here.

He said the people had made their choice and there should not be any sabotage to the governments run by Pakatan Rakyat (People's Alliance).

"It is more healthy and we (Barisan Nasional - BN) can do better then. That's why we opposed the move to sabotage the ruling Pakatan Rakyat Perak government which only won majority by three seats compared to BN.

"I must say that BN is not afraid of competition. Let them (Pakatan Rakyat) govern and prove themselves in the five states they won. I challenge them to do so. At the same time we must prove that we will also perform as a good opposition in the states," he said.

Dr Koh said that in the meantime, BN should go back to the basics and refer to the BN constitution that now was drifted away by Umno dominance and strong man politics.

[More at]

Sapp backs party boss on anti-PM move - Malaysiakini

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) supreme council has today endorsed party president Yong Teck Lee's call for a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmah Badawi.

MCPX"It is a decision reached by consensus after hearing all the views in the supreme council meeting. Majority of the supreme council members supported the motion of no confidence against the prime minister," Yong told reporters.

With this endorsement, the party sends a clear message to the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition that the no-confidence move was a party decision and not one made by only a handful of leaders.

BN had yesterday justified its no-action against the errant component party on the grounds that the call for a no-confidence vote against Abdullah was not Sapp's official stand.

At its supreme council meeting today, the party however did not make a decision on whether it should pull out of BN.

Instead, Yong told reporters at a press conference held after the meeting to ask BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor on Sapp's position in the coalition.

[More at]

‘Yong put greed before Sabah’ - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: If Datuk Yong Teck Lee was not greedy, he could have played a significant role in bringing positive development to Sabah, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Elaborating on his statement on Wednesday that he “had not been able to satisfy his (Yong’s) personal greed,” Abdullah, the Barisan Nasional chairman, said that when he visited Sabah recently, he discovered that Yong was more interested in what PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was offering him.

“God knows what Anwar is offering him, high post and so on. That’s why I said he was greedy.

“If not, he could have played a role that will bring something for the good of Sabah,” the Prime Minister told a press conference after chairing the emergency Barisan supreme council meeting here yesterday.

Abdullah said that when the Barisan leadership was deciding on candidates for the recent general election, Yong had already made a decision which SAPP members were to stand as candidates.

Yong then requested for an additional seat so that he could contest but there were no more seats left for the party, he said.

[More at]

Thursday, June 19, 2008

BN: No action against Sapp -

Barisan Nasional supreme council today resolved not to take action against Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) until it gets an "official statement" from the party for its planned no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

More weigh in on SAPP move - The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Sabah Progressive Party move to remove Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with a no-confidence vote continued to attract a range of responses, with a former prime minister weighing in as well.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Barisan Nasional component parties should realise that they have become irrelevant and will find themselves rejected if they continued to ignore the feelings of the people.

He said it was the inability of Barisan party leaders to appreciate the feelings of the people that led to the disastrous general election results. "When will BN party leaders wake up to the fact that the majority of Malaysians do not want Datuk Seri Abdullah as Prime Minister?" he said in his blog,, on Thursday.

Dr Mahathir's comment was in response to the announcement by the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) on Wednesday to move a no-confidence motion on the Prime Minister when the Parliament session resumes next Monday.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, a Sabah native, said his decision to allow or not allow the motion would be based on the rules and procedures of the Standing Orders.

[More at]

Loyal MPs rally behind Malaysia PM after no-confidence move - AFP

Loyal lawmakers rallied behind Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at an emergency meeting Thursday following a call for a no-confidence vote against the premier from within his coalition.

"Nobody (in the coalition) supports this motion. Everyone have rejected this and what has taken place is against the spirit of unity within the coalition.

"This is a collective decision of the Barisan Nasional supreme council," he told reporters after chairing a special meeting of top leaders from 13 of the 14 parties in the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee made the unprecedented no-confidence call on Wednesday in a serious blow to Abdullah, who has faced pressure to quit since disastrous general elections in March. The SAPP did not attend the gathering.

Abdullah said he would continue to lead the government despite the attempt to topple him.

"I cannot afford to be distracted by issues that keep coming up. I have to be focused with what I have to do. When things like this happen, we have to deal with it," he said.

Abdullah, who is also finance minister, said he would ensure the economy remained stable despite rising political uncertainties over his leadership.

[More at]

Hong Kong deal: SAPP and Anwar - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party’s move for a no-confidence motion on the Prime Minister was a deal that was hatched in Hong Kong and wrapped up in Kuala Lumpur with PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee admitted he had met with Anwar on two occasions in the Chinese territory and the federal capital to discuss "the political dynamics affecting the nation and Sabah".

Many quarters have interpreted this to mean the "crossing over of Barisan Nasional MPs" to the opposition as promised by Anwar.

However, the proposed motion has not received widespread support and Yong agreed that the next 48 hours were crucial. At the moment at least two other Sabah Barisan parties - UPKO and PBS - have remained deafeningly silent.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Yong's latest action was due to the fact that "I have not been able to satisfy his personal greed."

Abdullah did not elaborate. However, his aides said that the prime minister would elaborate at a later date.

[More at]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yong: Enough is enough - The Star

PETALING JAYA: The continued insensitive attitude of the Government towards serious issues in Sabah is the main reason Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) decided to move a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister.

Its president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the party had to make a stand before the “window of opportunity” closed by August after which Sabah would be forgotten again.

“The nation’s attention will switch to MCA and Umno elections, people will be pre-occupied with the fasting month, Hari Raya, school exams and year-end events,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

“Political fatigue in the national mainstream over 'Sabah-Sabah-Sabah' issues will set in.”

He said the momentum for Sabah to recover autonomy, obtain 20% oil royalties instead of the present five per cent and the return of Labuan would be lost.

“Unfair federal laws, excessive taxes and structural imbalances in the economy will remain entrenched. Sabah will remain the poorest state subservient to central leadership.

“The illegal immigrant problem will reach boiling point.

“With our political move, SAPP hereby initiates the political process to claim 20% in oil royalties, which is after the all the natural resource of Sabah,” he added.

[More at]

PM Says Teck Lee Acted Out Of Personal Greed - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, June 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee's latest action has been due to the fact that "I have not been able to satisfy his personal greed."

Abdullah did not elaborate. However, his aides told Bernama that the prime minister would elaborate at a later date.

Yong declared in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday that his party had lost confidence in Abdullah.

Of late, the former Sabah chief minister has been critical of Abdullah's political decisions on Sabah as well as the move to increase fuel prices.


Malaysian prime minister faces no-confidence vote in new political threat after polls - AP

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia (AP) -- A party in Malaysia's ruling coalition said Wednesday it plans to seek a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister in an unprecedented act of rebellion that could force him to resign or call for new elections.

The Sabah Progressive Party, a member of the 14-party ruling National Front coalition, said its two federal legislators would back a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when Parliament resumes Monday.

"We have lost confidence in the prime minister of Malaysia," party leader Yong Teck Lee told a news conference in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah state on Borneo island.

The lawmakers must first convince Parliament's speaker to allow a no-confidence vote, but their biggest challenge will be getting enough legislators to support the motion. Prominent opposition politician Lim Kit Siang said a no-confidence motion needs a minimum 14-day notice so it can't be voted on Monday.

The move would be a first in Malaysia's political history: No Malaysian prime minister has ever faced a vote of no-confidence presented by a member of his own coalition before.

The National Front has 140 lawmakers in the 222-member Parliament, enough to defeat any vote against Abdullah. But after the front's dismal performance in March 8 elections - largely blamed on Abdullah's leadership - there is no guarantee that all ruling coalition lawmakers would want to protect him.

[More at]

Sultan to PAS: Call off protest or I call off matches - The Star

By Wong Chun Wai

SHAH ALAM: An upset Sultan of Selangor has threatened to call off future Sultan of Selangor Cup matches between his state and Singapore if the protest by the state PAS Youth against two artistes performing for the event went ahead.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah described the protest over rock queen Ella and dangdut singer Mas Idayu as “hypocritical” and “trivial”.

He said there were more important issues that the party could focus on.

“If this is going to be so difficult, we might as well hold this annual event in Singapore. I am sure they will be more than happy to play host,” he told The Star yesterday.

On Monday, Selangor PAS Youth submitted a memoradum to the Selangor Mentri Besar’s office to protest against plans to have Ella and Mas Idayu perform at the match on July 6.

State PAS Youth chief Sallehen Mokhyi said the movement felt that performances by the singers were inappropriate as it would be attended by many youngsters.

[More at]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Syed Hamid: Fuel price won't go down -

Street demonstrations against the fuel price hikes will lead only to further hardships for people caught up in the inconvenience that accompanies such gatherings, said Home Affairs Minister Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar.

Petronas accounts: We want more detail - The Star

By Wong Sai Wan & David Tan

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas should publish a more detailed financial statement and then table it in Parliament so that there is greater transparency, said Rembau MP and deputy Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

“The call that I made for Petronas to disclose its financial statement goes above and beyond the annual report that is published on its website. I believe most MPs are aware of Petronas’ published financial accounts.

"However, the annual report only highlights a summary of Petronas’ financial position without going into any detail.

"While I appreciate that the standard of the annual report surpasses the requirements of the Companies Commission of Malaysia, I think it is also fair to say that Petronas is not an ordinary corporation," he said in a statement.

He was responding to a report in The Star on Tuesday quoting Petronas acting chairman, president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican as saying that the corporation’s account had been published and made public for the past 18 years.

Hassan said 5,000 copies of the report was printed and distributed to various quarters and it was also available on Petronas' website.

[More at]

Anwar sacking to be probed in Malaysia court - AFP

The dramatic 1998 sacking of former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim will be probed after Malaysia's highest court agreed to hear a legal challenge to the dismissal, officials said Tuesday.

Anwar was ousted by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in September 1998 and subsequently charged with corruption and sodomy in a court case where he famously appeared with a black eye after being beaten by the police chief.

After spending six years in jail and finally having the sex charges quashed, he has made a spectacular return to the political stage at the helm of a resurgent opposition alliance.

Anwar's Keadilan party confirmed the Federal Court had given the green light for him to challenge the constitutionality of his sacking, which he says was carried out improperly without the king being first advised.

Rather than being aimed at having Anwar reinstated, the case is designed to probe the incident which reverberates through Malaysian politics to this day, said Keadilan's information chief Tian Chua.

"It will enable to us to understand a little bit how the events unfolded during the days of Anwar's sacking," he told AFP. "Mahathir might have to be called to justify or to explain the process."

[More at]

Ong: Anwar's claim of MPs defecting a preposterous lie - NST

By : David Yeow

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has rubbished the claim by Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that its MPs were about to defect, calling it "preposterous and absolutely false".

Secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Anwar's "stunt" was merely an attempt at psychological warfare which had no truth in it.

"It is a lie. He leaks this 'claim' to the press, so that he can go to other Barisan Nasional component parties and say 'see, MCA has crossed over, you should join us too'."

Ong said other component party heads should see past Anwar's ruse and unite against the opposition.

Anwar was reported as saying on Sunday that "several MCA MPs will join us soon", including a cabinet member.

Ong said all 15 MCA MPs had contacted him and denied ever meeting Anwar, let alone considering jumping ship.

[More at]

Malay woman buried as a Buddhist - The Star

KANGAR: A Malay woman who died in Kampung Guar Musang on June 12 was buried in the village according to Buddhist rites.

This followed the Perlis Religious Affairs Department’s decision that the woman, Selimah Mat, 78, was no longer a Muslim at the time of her death although her identity card stated her religion as Islam.

Perlis Syariah High Court judge Zaini Abd Rahim confirmed yesterday that the woman did not profess the Islamic faith and could be buried according to Buddhist rites.

The younger sister of the deceased, Kiah @ Rokiah Mat, 75, claimed that when Selimah was 16, she was taken to Thailand by someone and returned eight years later with a three-year-old son.

Rokiah said her sister admitted to having married a Buddhist.

“I asked her to return to Islam but she remained non-committal,” she said.

Rokiah also claimed to have seen Selimah entering the Buddhist temple in the village to engage in religious activities like other Buddhists in the village.

[More at]

Monday, June 16, 2008

More students joining private institutions - The Star

By Priscilla Dielenberg

GEORGE TOWN: The enrolment at private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) is increasing and almost at a 1:1 ratio with that of public institutions of higher learning (IPTA), said Deputy Higher Education Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung.

He said the 2007 intake saw 167,788 students enrolling for undergraduate courses at IPTS and 190,265 at IPTA.

This, he said, was in contrast to the total number of 365,800 students who are now pursuing undergraduate courses at IPTS and 507,438 at the IPTA.

"The IPTS is getting stronger and more important," he told a press conference Monday after a meeting with senior executives of IPTS at Trader's Hotel here.

Dr Hou said the meeting was a forum to interact with representatives from IPTS to brief them on the latest matters involving the ministry’s policies, and to hear their issues and proposals.

Among the matters addressed Monday were the ongoing establishment audit of 200 IPTS, increasing the intake of genuine foreign students, the issue of lack of teaching staff, and the restructuring of IPTS.

[More at]

Malaysia's Petronas to open books to public: report - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's state oil company Petronas will open its books to the public after a decision to hike fuel prices by more than 40 percent set off days of protests, news reports said on Monday.

The reports come with a major opposition party still calling for as many as 100,000 people to take to the streets at a rally early next month amid growing anger over the cost of fuel in Malaysia, which is heavily state subsidised.

Nor Mohammed Yakcop, the country's second finance minister, told the New Straits Times newspaper that Petronas could open its ledgers to the public as soon as next week as the government looks at cutting the fuel subsidy.

"As a government that is entrusted by the people, we have to make sure our revenues are spent prudently," he said.

The government has forecast that unless subsidies are restructured, it will spend around 10 billion ringgit (3.1 billion dollars) in the second half of 2008 in the face of a global surge in oil prices .

But Nor Mohammed brushed off calls to use the Petronas revenues to finance the subsidy.

[More at]

Dr Mahathir's 'racist remarks' draw flak - NST

By : M. Husairy Othman, Ridzwan Abdullah and Eileen Ng

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malays have every reason to fight for their rights, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as non-Bumiputera groups again lamented over the former prime minister's apparently racist line.

He claimed Malaysia was the only nation in the world where the main ethnic group had admitted other races and endowed them with rights.

"We (the Malays) are not the type to protest and have accepted those who came to the country.

"We even accorded them rights unlike other countries," he said at a talk titled "The Future of Malaysian Malays" organised by Warisan Pekembar, a non-governmental organisation, in Teluk Intan on Saturday.

Some 2,000 people attended the hour-long event.

In an immediate response, Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye said national unity was crucial to meeting the challenges of the present day.

[More at]

Fuel card plan to improve subsidy rebate system - The Star

By Ruben Sario and Meera Vijayan

KOTA KINABALU: The Government is looking at adopting a system whereby motorists can buy a fixed amount of subsidised fuel each month and pay for the rest at market rate.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the system includes providing Malaysian motorists with a special card for buying subsidised fuel.

“We are still looking into this system as certain infrastructure would be required for the subsidised fuel cards to be used,” he said, adding that the RM625 cash rebate for motorists was the best and fastest approach the Government could take to cushion the recent 41% hike in fuel prices.

Touching on the same subject, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said the fuel subsidy rebate system would be fine-tuned for the convenience of the people.

He said that various options were being studied, including the possibility of using a fleet card system.

“For example, under the fleet card, you would get your rebate at the petrol pumps as and when you purchase your fuel instead of having to queue up at post offices,” he said.

[More at]

Anwar eyeing Kuala Kangsar - The Star

IPOH: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is looking at the possibility of contesting a by-election in Perak, if the court were to rule against Barisan Nasional in the Kuala Kangsar election petition.

Responding to queries on his pending contest in a by-election, the PKR de facto leader said: “I think Perak would be a good idea. We’re waiting for a decision on Kuala Kangsar.”

Anwar said this after speaking at a closed-door convention held by Perak PKR Youth yesterday.

He also said a committee had been set up to look into him contesting in a by-election, adding that it would be done through Pakatan Rakyat.

Dissatisfied voter Ahmad Jamaluddin Abd Majid has filed an election petition to declare the results of the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituency null and void after Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz failed to sign two out of three sets of her nomination papers in the last general election.

Rafidah won the seat against Perak PAS deputy commissioner Dr Khairuddin Abd Malik. The case is still pending in court.

[More at]

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dr M says it again: Don't question Malay rights - The Malaysian Insider

TELUK INTAN, June 15 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has told non-Malays that they should stop questioning the special rights of the Malays and count themselves privileged, having been given citizenship and other rights in this country.

He urged them to understand history and realise that an agreement was reached before independence in 1957 when the Malays were willing to accept other races as people who could "share the wealth of this land". Part of the formula saw Umno allow MCA and MIC to administer the country.

"Finally, with the agreement of all parties, immigrants were accepted as citizens of Tanah Melayu and people of other races accepted the reality that Malays had special rights as indigenous people of this land. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra willingly gave one million citizenships to Chinese and Indians. Which country in the world has given immigrants equal rights?

"If the Malays were willing to accept the immigrants we should not let other people now question our rights," he said, drawing applause from a Malay majority audience, at a resthouse in Teluk Intan on Saturday. The speaking engagement was organised by a non-governmental organisation.

Defending Malay rights and painting a doom's day scenario for Malay political power have been recurring themes in Dr Mahathir's speeches across the country since election 2008. He was criticised heavily for playing the race card in a speech several weeks ago in Johor, with Malaysians accusing him of trying to drive a wedge between different races in the country.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali even wondered whether Dr Mahathir was laying the foundation for racial strife with his incendiary comments.

[More at]

PM: I'll defend my post! - The Star

By Yap Leng Kuen

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has reiterated that he will defend his Umno presidency in the party elections in December.

Even though he has announced his plans for his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over, he has not decided precisely on the date of handover.

“Anytime doesn’t mean two or three months,” he said at a briefing on Sunday to media leaders attending the World Economic Forum on East Asia here.

Abdullah denied that political uncertainty had negatively impacted foreign investments and he had, in fact, received many enquiries from the Middle East.

On the economy, he said a growth of 5.5% was achievable and that some mega projects could be adjusted while those people-centric projects with immediate impact would be implemented under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“This will be after the midterm review when we will also introduce new areas of 'soft development',” he said, referring to the corridor developments especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

[More at]

Ku Li: Don't mind Najib as No 2, but up to members - The Star

By Nik Naizi Husin

MENTAKAB: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has offered to contest the Umno presidency in December, said he would not object to Datuk Seri Najib Razak staying on as deputy president.

However, he said he would leave it to party members to decide on Najib's post.

Describing his relations with the Deputy Prime Minister as good, he said he had worked well with Najib back in the days when he (Razaleigh) was finance minister.

Tengku Razaleigh, who is the Gua Musang MP, said “power in the party should be returned to members” by abolishing the existing quota system.

He called on the Umno leadership to be grassroots orientated, with leaders at all levels to be elected by the party. “They should also be able to choose supreme council members without any restriction," he said during a dialogue session with the Umno branch leaders at Dewan Sri Mentakab on Sunday.

[More at]

Kit Siang Supports Call For Petronas Accounts Be Made Public - Bernama

ALOR STAR, June 15 (Bernama) -- DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has come out in support of the call by Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin for Petronas' detailed statement of accounts be tabled in parliament.

He said it would be an appropriate move to explain to the people so that they would understand the real situation of the national petroleum company, besides its responbility to the people.

"The world oil price increase to US$136 a barrel recently is meaningless to the people who are burdened by the increase when Malaysia is also an oil exporter," he told reporters after calling on Kedah Menteri Besar, Azizan Abdul Razak, at Wisma Darul Aman here.

Khairy had recently said that Petronas should make its accounts public so that the people would not endlessly question its contribution (to the economy), its oil output and production cost.

Lim, who is also Ipoh Timur MP, said the increase by 41 percent of petrol price in the country and 63 percent for diesel since June 5 was too high for an oil-exporting country like Malaysia.

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Malaysia Islamist party pushes for sharia penalties - Reuters

By Niluksi Koswanage

KAMPUNG PULAU MELAKA, Malaysia (Reuters) - A leader of Malaysia's Islamist party, which made surprising gains in March elections, wants its secular allies to apply strict sharia law, which include amputations and stonings for Muslims.

The hardline Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) has enacted such laws in its Kelantan stronghold to punish rapists and adulterers with stoning to death, while thieves would lose their limbs.

However, the country's Federal government has barred PAS from enforcing the laws.

PAS and other opposition parties wrested control of five of Malaysia's 13 states in the March election as voters punished the ruling coalition for concerns ranging from rising crime to racial tensions.

But analysts have said it would be tough for PAS to broaden its appeal due to its advocacy of the punishments called for by strict Muslim religious law, known as sharia or hudud, which scare off non-Muslims who see the party as a fundamentalist clique.

"Islam is a moderate, soft religion," PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat told Reuters late last week in the northeastern state of Kelantan, the party's stronghold for the past 18 years.

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Abdullah: Terengganu to manage the 5% oil royalty once again - The Star

By R.S.N. Murali

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Federal Government has agreed to revert the management of the five per cent oil royalty back to the state government.

The payment of oil royalty to the state stopped in 2000 when the opposition took control of the Terengganu.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made the much-awaited announcement yesterday after a closed-door meeting with state Umno leaders and high-ranking Government officers at a hotel here yesterday.

“The handing over of the royalty will be done once a detailed summary on the matter, including the procedures of how the royalty should be channelled to the state’s coffer, is done.

“The Federal Government agreed today to return the royalty payment but we have to outline the procedures, measures and other particulars,” he said.

The issue of oil royalty came up when Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said recently asked the Federal Government to hand over the management back to Terengganu in a bid to implement more people-oriented projects.

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Dr M: Why cut subsidies and then reduce toll rates - The Star

By Christina Koh

TELUK INTAN: There is no point in reducing toll rates when the Government has already cut fuel subsidies, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Responding to reports that toll rates would likely be reviewed to lighten the burden of people, the former prime minister said it would be a case of money moving from “the left pocket to your right pocket”.

“What use is cutting fuel subsidies and yet increasing subsidies for tolls and other expenses?” he told a public forum entitled The Future of Malays in Malaysia yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said that the Government had to pay compensation to the concessionaires, adding that a thorough study should be done to determine if the move was truly viable.

On the fuel price increase, Dr Mahathir said the move was inevitable, noting that crude oil had increased to US$138 (RM441) per barrel from US$30 (RM96) when he first took over as prime minister.

Dr Mahathir said that while the fuel price increase could not be avoided, it should have been done gradually to lessened its effects on the people and give them time to make adjustments.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Anwar: Equal economic opportunity for all races -

Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim spoke about the situation of the Malays and possible solutions at the launch of PKR deputy president and academician Dr Syed Husin Ali's book, "The Malays: Their Problems and Future" Saturday.

Three PKR lawmakers arrested, then released -

Three opposition MPs and three others were arrested for gathering outside the King's palace at around 10am this morning.

The three legislators nabbed were from PKR - Sivarasa Rasiah (Subang), S Manikavasagam (Kapar) and Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang).

Fuel Price Increase Inevitable But Should Have Been Done Gradually - Dr M - Bernama

TELUK INTAN, June 14 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Saturday the fuel subsidy reduction was inevitable due to the rising crude oil prices in the global market.

He said the subsidy reduction was something that the government had to do as the price of crude oil reached US$138 per barrel as compared to US$30 per barrel during his time as prime minister.

"Although inevitable, we can reduce the burden borne by the people by increasing the fuel prices gradually.

"At the same time we must also find ways to enhance the people's income. This is something that we can do," he said at a dialogue after delivering a talk on the future of the Malays in Malaysia organised by Pekembar, a non-governmental organisation, here.

Dr Mahathir was answering a question from a participant from the Teluk Intan 4B Youth Movement on the measures he would have taken to lighten the people's burden if he was to return as prime minister. "Toll rates reduction would mean an increase in the toll subsidy. But why should we reduce the fuel subsidy and increase the toll subsidy?

"This should therefore be studied carefully as we don't to see a 'left pocket in, right pocket out' situation," he said.

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3 MPs arrested in front of Istana Negara - The Star

By Teh Eng Hock

KUALA LUMPUR: Three Members of Parliament were among six people arrested Saturday for participating in a rally in front of Istana Negara here.

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Subang MP R. Sivarasa and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin were arrested at 10.30am Saturday for protesting the detention of Hindu Rights Action Force leaders under the Internal Security Act 1960.

Three other PKR members were also arrested.

Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said all of the people arrested were released on bail by 12.45pm.

He said the police arrived at about 10am and asked members of the public, including tourists, to vacate the area around Istana Negara's main gate.

"Everybody left except for a group who refused to leave. We gave them three warnings to disperse. Deputy OCPD (Supt Azri Abd Rahman) spoke to them, and at 10.20am, I told gave them five minutes to disperse.

"At 10.25am, they still refused to leave so we arrested them. No force was used, and they did not resist arrest," he said.

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Umno Will Rise Again, Says Abdullah - Bernama

KOTA BAHARU, June 14 (Bernama) -- Echoeing the sentiment voiced by his deputy, Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Friday night he would not do anything that could harm the party.

"I will not let Umno to be divided. In the north (of Peninsular Malaysia), Umno was founded by my father and grandfather," he said in his speech at a dinner in conjunction with his one-day visit to Kelantan.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters in London on Thursday that he was a "true Umno man" who would not risk destroying the party his father built.

Najib also said he would not challenge Abdullah for the Umno president's post and as he believed in "the traditional way of leadership transition".

Abdullah said, like his deputy, he would not do anything that could split the party.

He said despite the results of the March 8 general election, Umno's strength remained intact.

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Rebates only for citizens - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian permanent residents are not entitled to the cash rebates announced for car owners.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said this in response to a query from a reader who asked whether her Indian national husband, who had applied for permanent resident status seven years ago, was entitled to the rebate.

“Only vehicle owners who are Malaysian citizens are entitled to the rebate,” he said.

On June 4, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had announced the new fuel price of RM2.70 a litre for petrol and RM2.58 a litre for diesel.

In line with that, owners of private vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000cc and below will enjoy a RM625 rebate.

Owners of private pickup trucks and jeeps with engine capacity of 2,500cc and below will also receive the rebate.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Expect more rallies to come, says opposition -

Expect more anti-fuel price hike protest rallies in the coming three weeks, PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub has warned the government.

In a press conference held at the party's headquarters after today's rally, Salahuddin vowed that the Pakatan Rakyat opposition will continue to hold more protests to build up the momentum for the mammoth gathering scheduled to take place on July 5.

Abdullah, Najib agree on best time for leadership change - The Star

KOTA BARU: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak have reached an agreement on the right time for a leadership change, the Prime Minister said Friday.

Reiterating that he and Najib enjoyed good working relations, Abdullah said they have mutually agreed on the "best time" for a leadership transition.

Abdullah raised the issue as some people were still suspicious of the relationship between him and Najib including Kelantan Umno leaders who raised the matter at the Kelantan Umno liaison committee meeting chaired by the Umno president here on Friday.

"Datuk Seri Najib and I have decided on the right time for me to hand over the premiership to him. We've no problems and we enjoy good working relations.

"The leadership change will definitely take place at the right time," he said at a luncheon with senior government officials and community leaders.

Earlier, Abdullah chaired a two-hour Kelantan Umno meeting. Abdullah is in Kelantan for a one-day visit.

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Malaysian woman caught with cocaine - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian woman has been charged in London with drug trafficking after she was caught with 3.5kg of cocaine in her luggage.

Susanna Janury, 36, was nabbed at the East Midlands airport on May 29 after she flew in from Gambia. She was to take a connection flight to Kuala Lumpur when she was arrested.

She claimed she was not aware of the drugs, worth about RM1.2 million, when she was stopped by airport authorities.

A Malaysian High Commission official who confirmed the incident said Susanna is being held in a prison pending the mention of her case on June 16.

Susanna, from Selangor, claimed the bag was given to her by someone she had met in Gambia after she discovered that she needed an additional bag for her belongings.

Susanna told the High Commission official that her trip to London was a free holiday given to her.


Dr Mahathir welcomes probe into claims that he threatened judges - The Star

LANGKAWI: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the police can arrest him if they have evidence on allegations that he had threatened judges.

“I have no power now. If they want to investigate, okay, fine. I can face it.

“If I am wrong, okay, they can arrest me,” he said at the Langkawi Airport here yesterday.

“They can investigate me. I want to know the truth,” he said.

Dr Mahathir was responding to a police report lodged against him by DAP chairman Karpal Singh following High Court Judge Datuk Ian Chin’s claim that the former premier had threatened to remove judges by referring them to a tribunal.

Justice Chin alleged that Dr Mahathir had issued a thinly veiled threat to judges during a Judges Conference on April 24, 1997.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mukhriz questions timing of judge's allegations against dad - NST

By : Hamidah Atan


MP for Jerlun Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has questioned the timing of allegations of extra-judicial interference against his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by a High Court judge.

Mukhriz, who is also Umno Youth exco member, said Datuk Ian Chin should have brought up the matter when his father was still the prime minister.

“Why only now he (Chin) decided to raise the issue when my father is no longer the prime minister and Barisan Nasional losing several states (to the opposition)? To me, he certainly has an agenda,” he said after a budget consultation session for BN backbenchers by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Finance Ministry today.

Mukhriz said he was very sure that his father would come up with his own defence.

Chin had claimed that Dr Mahathir threatened to punish the judiciary for decisions he did not like in 1997. The Borneo Post reported that Chin made the stunning allegation at the start of proceedings on Monday when hearing an election petition filed by Wong Hus She, the defeated DAP candidate for the Sarikei parliamentary seat.

Anticipating a motion for him to be recused, Chin took the “step to disclose what the parties and counsel may not be aware of but which they may later complain that I should have disclosed”. Wong lost the Sariket seat to Barisan Nasional’s Ding Kuong Hing by 51 votes.

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Exclusive interview with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad -

Mahathir explain his chances and achievement three weeks after quiting Umno.

Dr M: Arrest me if you have proof - The Star

LANGKAWI: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the police can arrest him if they had evidence on allegations that he had threatened judges.

“I have no power now. If they want to investigate, okay, fine. I can face it.

“If I am wrong, okay, they can arrest me,” he said upon his arrival at the Langkawi Airport here Thursday.

“They can investigate me. I want to know the truth,” he said.

Dr Mahathir was responding to a police report lodged against him by DAP chairman Karpal Singh following High Court Judge Justice Ian Chin’s claim that the former premier had threatened to remove judges by referring them to a tribunal.

Justice Chin had alleged that Dr Mahathir had issued a thinly-veiled threat to judges during a Judges Conference on April 24, 1997.

Dr Mahathir said those in power now could do what they like.

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Karpal files police report against Dr M - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Karpal Singh lodged a police report against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed yesterday over allegations that the former prime minister had interfered with the judiciary during his tenure.

Karpal who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, lodged the report at the Tun H. S. Lee police station here yesterday evening.

In the report, Karpal said if the allegations made by the High Court judge was true, then it amounted to an offence under Section 186 of the Penal Code, amounting to obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties.

Karpal also called for an emergency session of parliament to debate on the allegations made by Chin.

"The session must be called to regain public confidence in the judiciary," he said.

Karpal also questioned why it took Chin 11 years before coming out with this allegation.

He also hit out at the other judges who attended the same conference on April 24, 1997, for remaining silent.

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Mahathir: I will respond in due time - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he will refrain from commenting on the revelations made by High Court judge Justice Datuk Ian Chin for now.

He said in his blog that he would do so “in due time”.

“However, I am quite curious about what Ian Chin considers as veiled threats. Perhaps he could be more specific, as his allegations are very serious,” Dr Mahathir said.

Meanwhile, Gerakan vice-president Datuk Dr S. Vijayaratnam said judges should emulate Justice Chin’s recent action should the situation demand.

He said Justice Chin’s actions demonstrated the integrity of the judiciary system.

“Let us hope that this is the start of a more transparent, independent and impartial Malaysian Judiciary,” Vijayaratnam said in a statement.

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